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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  July 29, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies.
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what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. taking down the default as u.s. politicians face a looming deadline that stretches far beyond washington. >> we are almost out of time. we need to reach a compromise by tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time. a final farewell in norway. one week after the deadly attacks the first victim is laid to rest but the country continues to mourn. five years after raul castro took over from his brother in cuba, some residents are reaping the benefits of reform.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. with the clock ticking down all eyes are on capitol hill to see if a deal can be struck to avoid a government default this tuesday. the markets are expressing displeasure and international pressure is starting to mount. right now the house of representatives is about to vote on the boehner plan. the bro sess is far from over. we have this report. ♪ >> prayers for the politicians who do seem in need of some divine inspiration. the nation waits for the congress to act, more bad news, slower than expected growth, the president says they must find a way out of this mess. >> there are a lot of crises in
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the world we can't always predict or avoid, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks. this isn't one of those crises. the power to solve this is in our hands. >> sometimes it might seem it in is in the hands of clumsy smurfs that helped open the new york stock exchange. watching every twist and turn a washington lobbyist who represents financial firms. they are worried about what happens if a deal isn't done. >> the possibility of a downgrade in the u.s.'s credit rating will send riples in the u.s. the u.s. has always had a aaa rating. if we lose that rating it will weaken our position in the global economy. >> for decades the u.s. has been raising its debt ceiling without much fuss. when reagan became president it stood at almost $1 trillion, 18
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increases, $2.8 trillion. in the clinton years the limit was $6 trillion. seven more increases, george bush raised it to $11 trillion, under obama it has gone up three times to $14 trillion. the difference, a new driving force has arrived in washington. tea party backed republicans who won't vote for any deal that allows america to borrow more. they say when you are in debt, you change your diet. >> you start eating chicken, hamburger and hotdogs. we must do the things that is absolutely necessary. >> in washington americans seem frustrated this is taking so long. >> totally disgusted. i hope that president obama enacts the 14th amendment and overrides all these idiots. >> unfortunate they are putting the united states at risk in order to carry out their own
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personal agenda. so, yeah, i'm pretty fed up. >> the american people may despair of their politicians' brink manship, but they expect a deal to be done even at the last minute. the only trouble with that theory, there are some politicians here who believe it would be a good thing to go over the brink. >> for more on the political showdown, i spoke to johnny isaacson from capitol hill. i started by asking how it looks that any bill passed out of the house will inevtabbley be killed in the senate. >> it looks worse than it is. when the house passes a bill this afternoon it will contain key components both sides agree on. it will have some they don't agree on. what is happening is various bills are passing with various pieces of the solution. i think we can reach a bipartisan solution by the
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beginning of the week. we are not going to default on our debt. >> where is the compromise going to come from assuming this bill will not pass the senate? where do you go from here? >> well, first of all, both democrats and republicans have agreed to $1 trillion cuts up to $2.8. that has been negotiated. the issue is how long the debt ceiling. the president wants it to go beyond the election. others want it midyear next year. that will have to be worked out. there is the long term plan about how we get our hands around our debt and deficit long term. those are beginning to come in place. i'm optimistic we can make a deal. >> the republican approach brings us back in a couple months' time for the exact same debate. is that something good for the economy? >> what is going to be good for the economy is for the economy and the markets to understand
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america understands it has a $14 trillion problem that is going to wrap its arms around that problem and deal with it. we are at a tipping point in terms of leverage. the world is at a tipping point in terms of leverage. you need to deleverage and get your arms around spending. >> a short time ago the speaker of the house john boehner was on the floor urging his members to back his bill. >> so for the sake of our economy, for the sake of our future, i'm going to ask each of you as representatives of the people of the united states to support this bill, to support this process and end this crisis now. >> joining me now with more on where this debate goes from here is congressional correspondent for "time" and the wall street journal. jay, you have been watching
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this since it started, can you believe we are here with four days to go talking about it and no deal? >> i do. congress is like a gun to their head when they have to get something done. here we are. it is going to go right up to the deadline. congress is supposed to be in. the senate is supposed to be voting en through the night. we have vote scheduled for 1:00 a.m. sunday morning. they are going to be voting all weekend and hopefully they will come to a deal. >> susie, we are talking about the world's biggest, most powerful economy here. what is this delay, this uncertainty doing to america's international reputation and the markets at home? >> for the markets at home it is placid. most investors understand this ricked exercise is designed to go to the 11th hour. you are starting to see fear that things could fall apart and the entire financial system
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could fall apart if they don't come together. for the u.s., this weakness in our april system is taking a toll on the u.s. standing around the world. people are looking at the u.s., questioning whether it has the force both morally and economically it once did. >> there are still some republicans who say the default won't be a catastrophe everybody says. is there any chance we are all overreacting to this? >> there is a chance we will come to august 2nd, this deadline, and won't see catastrophe. the longer you wait you will see a breakdown and it is going to occur, it is just a matter of time. >> we talk about the potential of the tea party when they were elected and the effect they would have on congress. is this it? >> i mean, look, the facts we are talking about debt and deficits instead of spending is a major turn around in washington. i was talking to a congressman whose arm they were trying to
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twist to vote for the boehner bill. last year they would have bribed us with $20 billion bridges and this year the only thing they can give us is pizza. a major change. >> is this a new way of doing business? >> it is. the question remains if it is effective. >> the debt default would be a financial calamity and embarrassment for every american. with four days left to go, is there any sign of embarrassment yet? >> there is absolutely a sign of embarrassment. people have often forgotten the united states is the basis of the international financial system. the u.s. dollar is at the very core of that. if the u.s. goes any further in playing chicken with this standing people are going to question the u.s.'s position and whether the u.s. deserves this kind of responsibility around the world of keeping the financial system secure and safe. that is already starting to happen. there will be lasting damage even if we resolve this in the
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next couple of days. >> i think they are now actually voting. jay, can you predict at this stage what is going to happen and are we going to see an agreement before tuesday? >> i hope so. but i don't think it is going to be the one they are voting on in the house right now. that is doomed to fail in the the senate. the senate has four days to come up with a compromise. let's hope they can. >> do you think they will do it before tuesday? >> i think they will come to a last-minute agreement. if they don't you will see a financial crisis the likes of something we've never seen before. >> thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. now to norway where the first funerals have taken place. bano rashid was an 18-year-old iraqi kurd who came to norway in 1996. her funeral comes a week to the
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day after anders breivik carried out his assault. from oslo, we have this report. >> the coffin containing the body of 18-year-old bano rashid is brought out from church to be laid to rest. her family originally from iraq, mourning the loss of a daughter who had been a leading life in the muslim community here. exactly a week ago, bano rashid was shot dead along with more than 50 others attending a youth camp on the island of utoeya. she dreamt of becoming a politician. so many friends and relatives came to the funeral that hundreds had to stand outside. >> she will be missed. the youth can use her as an example to go into politics or follow their dreams because she
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was well on her way of becoming a perfect, perfect human being. >> and back here in oslo, it has also been a day of remembrance for those killed exactly a week ago. besides the crowds gathered here at this ever-expanding sea of flowers, there have been a number of poignant events in the city. members of the governing labour party gathered for an emotional reunion. the party, the the target of both attacks, the summer camp on utoeya island had been for its youth. the prime minister jens stoltenberg said many of their finest young people were now dead. but he said we will manage to go on. as they mourned, the police took the man responsible for
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the atrocity anders breivik for a second round of questioning. but so far they've not found any evidence he was part of a network of extremists, as he claims. and so far there's no sign his killing spree will deepen divisions within norwegian society. at today's funeral christians and muslims, immigrants and ethnic norwegians, side by side, exactly what breivik wanted to prevent. bbc news in norway. >> in other news, the entire military command in turkey has quit including the army chief of staff. this follows reports of growing tensions between the command and islamist government in the arrest of military personnel. the turkish military is the second biggest in nato. analysts say new developments
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will leave the armed forces in disarray. tens of thousands of demonstrators have filled tarir square in cairo. it appears to be the largest protest since the fall of president mubarak. for the first time since the revolution islamist leaders have been the instigators. tonight there are reports that libya's rebel military commander who was killed last night was murdered by his own side. he defected from clornl gadhafi's side. we have this report. >> it was the highest profile defection to the libyan rebellion. a man who had helped colonel gadhafi seize power, now
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switching sides. he gave credibility to the fighters of the east. his experience made him the ideal man to lead the rebel armed forces. he could speak as an equal to the libyan leader, something he did in a bbc interview just days into the conflict. translator: my dear brother, when benghazi said you should realize, i hoped you would leave. may god show you the righteous way and stop the annihilation of our people. >> but his relationship with gadhafi arouse suspicion. some believe he never defected. others refused to obey his comma. rumors swirled he was still in contact with eitegime. he was gunned down on his way to answer questions about slow progress on the front lines.
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there is word he was gunned down by the men who were sent to pick him up. in the western mountains, rebels claim they have driven gadhafi's forces from a keyboarder town. in miss rata, they are planning aattack. in the east there are try i tribes that are fighting. whoever is responsible for the murder of the general, what matters is the impact on the struggle against gadhafi. members of the general's clan are already armed and angry about what has taken place. perhaps more importantly, it has a severe impact on the military struggle against gadhafi's forces in the count ru when they need unity and momentum, it leaves them
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without a leader. in many ways other commanders are already leading the fight on the ground. the conflict has seemed a series of local batles as well as a national one. this colonel is another defector. he says the general's death will make them more determined to push on to tripoli. in a week that brazilian gave its fullbacking to the rebel government, the west must hope he is right. bbc, misrata. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, it's been five years since fidel castro fell ill handing power to his brother, raul. we go to cuba to see what has changed. as your zone countries ponder what to do about greece and other states, switzerland's
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franc is riding high and has become a safe haven for investors. >> it is a landscape that attracted tourists for over a century. this year visitors to switterland are on the ground and those that are here are counting their pennies. the your -- the euro slide and the swiss franc rises and rises. foreign tourists find switzerland too expensive, the swiss are favoring their own resorts in favor of a cheap holiday abroad. >> i'm watching this situation with enormous concern. things have gotten worse in the last few months. jobs and businesses are in danger now and that is very bad for our local economy. >> the swiss franc is at an all-time high against the euro and a new study shows a thousand hotels across the
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swiss alps are threatened with closure. >> there will be drop cuts. each hotel has had to cut back on jobs. we have cut two positions. >> swiss hotel owners are looking anxiously to the government for solutions. so far in vain. an attempt by the swiss national bank to buy up euros and slow down the rise of the franc resulted in the bank losing over $20 billion. while the crisis in the euro zone continues, the swiss franc will remain a safe haven and there is little that switzer land with no say in the policy rooms in brussels, can do about it. >> they were the worst floods in pakistan's history and a year ago today torrents of
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water were tearing through villages, destroying everything in their path. almost 2,000 people killed and 2 million homes destroyed. many families are still struggling with little help from the authorities. we have a report from northwest pakistan. >> the rainy season is just starting again. harmless as the water looks now, it has filled people here with dread. it is brought back the memory of images like these from last year, heaviest rains ever recorded reeked havoc across pakistan. nearly 20 million people were affected. this village was one of the first places the flood struck. people here had no warning of the disaster that was coming their way. villagers say a massive wall of water came through here from that direction and hit the
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village and destroyed a lot of the houses and caused a lot of deaths. in fact, a year on they still haven't found all of the bodies of those who were swept away. this woman did manage to find her two teenage daughters, but it took days. their bodies had been carried more than three kilometers away by the force of the waters. her family has been able to rebuild part of the house that was damaged, but she remains consumed by grief. my life was shattered, she says. without my two girls, living has no meaning anymore. in spite of a massive aid mobilization, many are still living in tents. this man and his family lost their home and in desperation of saving themselves lost all of their belongings, too. they are trying to get their
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lives on track ever since. translator: the last aid we received was six months ago when we got basic food rations. since then we have been relying on charity from local people. >> whether it is through their grief or homelessness or loss of livelihoods, millions are still trying to recover from last year's floods. that, the u.n. warns, makes them all the more vulnerable as the new monsoon season starts. bbc news, northern pakistan. >> we have an update on the debt crisis. the boehner plan for raising the debt ceiling has reached the number of votes it needs to pass through the house of representatives. it is now headed to the u.s. senate where the majority leader harry reid has vowed to kill the bill and come up with his own proposal. now to cuba where this weekend marks five years since raul castro took over from his
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ailing older brother fidel. many believed the system built by the revolutionary leader would collapse without him at the helm. yet today cuba remains the only communist run country. however, reform is slowly taking hold. >> this is one of a new breed of cuban entrepreneurs. she opened a small restaurant in what used to be her front room. now she has three employees working in the kitchen and a thriving lunchtime business. five years ago i would never have thought i could do something like this. it just wasn't possible, she told me. ♪ fidel castro has been cuba's undisputed leader for almost half a century. his younger brother, raul castro, has none of his charisma or oratorical skills,
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but on taking over the presidency he launched the first major overhaul of cuba's strugling economy. first came his agricultural reforms. a million hectare serks of state owned land have been leased to private farmers to boost production and reduce costly imports. at the same time he lifted a whole range of petty restrictions. cubans can buy cell phones, dvd's and computers, though the internet remains tightly controlled. political reform was not on the agenda of this year's long-awaited communist party congress, instead raul castro with the backing of his brother fidel did secure a move towards a mixed economy, including private property.
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change, though, comes at a price. more than 1 million state workers are due to lose their jobs and subsidies such as cheap food on the ration card will be fazed out. by now there are tens of thousands of small private businesses like this one springing up all over the island and before long people here will be allowed to buy and sell their homes and cars, but these are not chinese style free market reforms. in cuba, most of the economy will remain in state's hands. as president, raul castro is trying to engineer a gradual change. at 80 years old, time may not be on his side. bbc news, havana. >> that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. i'm jane o'brien. for all of us at "bbc world news america," thanks for watching and have a very good weekend. orntenainio
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mef enen oseinternational news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global financial strength to
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work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet, los presented by kcet, los angeles.
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